Friday, May 26, 2017

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SB 54 Support Letter

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Please CLICK HERE for a Word version of the SB 54 Support Letter.


Letter in support of Senate Bill 54 to State Senators

Dear Senator (insert senator’s last name):

I am a constituent residing at (address), and I’m writing to urge your support for Senate Bill 54, a proposal sponsored by the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions and endorsed by all of the professional societies and trade associations representing licensees of the Board.  I am a Kansas licensed (insert profession).  The organizations supporting SB 54 include the American Council of Engineering Companies of Kansas, American Institute of Architects - Kansas, Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists - Kansas City/Omaha, Kansas Society of Land Surveyors, Kansas Society of Professional Engineers, and Prairie Gateway Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The purpose of our licensure statute is to ensure that there are minimum standards of competency being practiced by technical professionals to protect the public’s health, safety or welfare.    Technical professionals are responsible for the location and design of essential public and private infrastructure and investments.  All 50 states and most other counties require these services to be performed by licensed professionals.  Our law defines the scope of practice for technical professionals, licensure requirements and continuing education requirements.  

Senate Bill 54 is a comprehensive updating of these licensure laws for Kansas professional Architects, Geologists, Land Surveyors, Landscape Architects, and Engineers.  Our licensure statutes have not been updated since 1992, and the terminology used in the statutes, and descriptions of scope of practices all need to be revised to reflect the modern practice of the professions.  The only controversial provision of the original bill was removed by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, and there were no conferees opposing the bill as it was reported out of Committee.

We have learned that there are two amendments proposing new exemptions to our licensure law that might be offered when the bill is considered by the full Senate.  The first amendment would allow a non-licensed property owner to design and construct a commercial building on his or her own land.  The second would create an exemption from licensure for religious facilities.  We urge you to oppose these amendments. 

The exemptions would allow unskilled, unlicensed individuals to design facilities accessed by the public that could pose a risk to human health, safety or welfare.  Licensure ensures minimum competency to design facilities open to the public.  Our licensure statutes and the changes proposed in Senate Bill 54 are not unduly restrictive and do not stifle competition for services.  There are thousands of technical professional licensed to work in Kansas.  Prices are very competitive and the quality of work is very high.  SB 54 does not propose to eliminate or expand any current licensure exemptions.

Residential property (single family and duplexes) and agricultural buildings are already exempt from licensure rules under our statutes, and those exemptions are not changed by SB 54.  However, broad exemptions for commercial or religious facilities would put unsuspecting members of the public at risk of injury or even loss of life.

Please call me at (insert your phone number) to confirm whether you can support SB 54 and oppose further licensure exemptions, or to discuss any questions you might have about the bill.

Thank you for your willingness to serve in the legislature, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be a resource on any other issues you are asked to address during the legislative session.

Respectfully submitted,

(signature)

 

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